The sublime landscapes of Frankenstein: an investigation through abstraction, distant reading and data collection.

De Nobriga, Amy (2019) The sublime landscapes of Frankenstein: an investigation through abstraction, distant reading and data collection. ‘Gothic Realities’ Symposium, Stirling University.

Abstract

The output is a creative project comprising a risograph printed object and conference paper. Research Process: In order to examine the representations of the sublime through the landscapes of Frankenstein and Shelley’s use of pathetic fallacy, the practical research seeks to investigate representations of the sublime through an investigation of reduction, abstraction and Euclidean geometry. Reduction was used to explore functionality in the narrative. Abstraction sought to investigate theories about perception to analyse the sublime in Frankenstein through a review of the abstract sublime in the work of Rothko who uses form and shape to emote a sense of the sublime. This paper posits the question: is there a congruence between Shelley’s elemental pathetic fallacy and Rothko’s spatial infinity? Research Insights: The axioms of Euclidean geometry have been explored as a method to reduce and abstract landscapes into congruent shapes and form. The 3rd postulate discusses the circle while the 5th postulate or the parallel postulate uses two straight lines to construct triangles. The circle and triangle are used to infer what Burke identifies as the relationship between the beautiful and the sublime. The landscapes seek to find what Derrida calls a ‘satisfaction’ between the negativity of the sublime and the positivity of the beautiful. These shapes are used to construct space and depth through a manipulation of scale and line, using Kantian ideas about boundlessness and limitlessness. This practical investigation seeks to answer the question: can landscapes be reduced and abstracted to convey a sense of the sublime in Frankenstein? Dissemination: This research was disseminated in the form of a risograph printed book object and paper presentation discussed at the ‘Gothic Realities’ Symposium 24-25 October 2019 at Stirling University.

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